What I’ve Learned My First Year of Blogging

A few weeks ago marked my 1 year blogversary! What started out of boredom and a joke about my obsession of polka dots, I decided to do this thing. When deciding whether or not to pay a good amount of money to renew my self-hosted domain, I started to think back on the past year. Even though my posts are pretty sporadic, I couldn’t imagine putting Polka Dot Girl to rest. The blogging community is actually super supportive and without a blog, I would lose some of the great connections I’ve made and people I continue to interact with. In celebrating my blogversary, I wanted to share some of the things I have learned in my first year of blogging!

What I’ve Learned So Far

Blogging takes a lot of work. But it also doesn’t. If you want to monetize your blog and have a million page views, then ya this is going to take a lot of time and effort. Some awesome bloggers I follow do this as a full-time job. So of course they are going to have great blogs and a ton of followers. If you don’t have the time to put in, you likely aren’t going to make an income off of it. But for me, that’s not why I started to blog. It was a way to find another fun hobby that I enjoyed doing. Especially in the middle of dreary winter, which is when I started this thing. Even if I don’t have the time (or the energy) to work on my blog all the time, I’m still proud of what I started from scratch.

You don’t need to be an HTML or CSS expert to create a website from scratch. It will likely take you weeks to decide on a blog theme, like it did for me. And then you may end up changing it several times. But it’s fairly easy to navigate and there are a lot of resources and fellow bloggers out there to help you. Most bloggers try to plan and figure everything out before going live. I decided one day just to start my blog and figure it out from there, which I think worked just as fine. Yes, I had no idea what I was doing. It was pretty easy to figure it out along the way though, and I think has given me some extra skills and knowledge.

The blogging community is super super supportive. I had no idea when I started my blog that I would even end up interacting with so many bloggers. I cannot even tell you how I gained all those connections, it just happened. Be sure to join lots of Facebook groups for other fellow bloggers and start connecting. Throughout this past year, I have had many people help me out or just connect on social media. These bloggers are always there to support you, whether it helps you gain more social media followers, beat the Instagram algorithms or just be there to chat with. I’ve been really lucky to have some fellow blogger friends through this journey!

Social media is key. You can write a bunch of awesome blogs, but that is only going to get you so far. You need to be proactive in constantly sharing your posts on all social media sites. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Bloglovin, StumbleUpon, Twitter, etc. Again, join some Facebook groups with other bloggers for that extra support on social media. This can take up a lot of your time, but can be worth it. Typically after I post a new blog, I go heavy into the social media sharing. If I don’t have time to be connecting every single day, that is totally fine.

Organic page views are super exciting. Yes sharing your blog posts with fellow bloggers, followers and in Facebook group boards are a great way to increase your page views. But I get especially excited when I can see organic traffic coming in from Google search results (Don’t forget to add your URL to Google Search Console to get it up there!). One of my earlier posts which was a beauty review on Lise Watier’s CC Cream still to this day brings me a ton of traffic. That is because it is currently the first result on the Google homepage if you searched for the keyword! Even before Lise Watier’s official website (hehe). Super exciting, right? It always makes me happy to see these organic pageviews for this post that is now almost a year old. Which makes me also think I should be writing more beauty reviews…

Whether you are a new or experienced blogger or just a blog reader, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments on some of the things you have learned along the way!

Thanks for stopping by!

Polka Dot Girl

 

6 Comments

  1. jenna urben | the urben life

    February 28, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Organic page views are the best!!! I was also surpised how supportive the blogging community is.

  2. Alanna

    February 28, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for sharing this!! I am just starting to blog and did what you did and just went live. I have no idea what I am doing or if anyone can see my blog, but you have given me hope that I will figure it out 🙂
    I love your blog and I am happy that you decided to keep going! Congrats on your 1 year!

  3. KD Harris

    February 28, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    what an insightful post. thanks for this!

  4. April Kitchens

    March 1, 2018 at 7:39 am

    Blogging is super fun isn’t it! I started my first blog when I was in college, so blogging now is a whole different world, but still fun. And yes, organic traffic is exciting!

  5. Susannah

    March 1, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    I’m in my 5th month blogging and doing a lot of the same things! nice to hear about someone else’s journey 🙂

  6. Melissa

    March 2, 2018 at 12:59 am

    I’ve been blogging for about 6 months. I hadn’t heard about the Google Search Console…I’m totally going to google it! 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

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